NICHOLAS PARSONS: Oh thank you audience for that lovely warm reception. Hello viewers and welcome to half an hour's worth of Just A Minute. The game show that I've been presenting since long long ago on radio. Since the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth! But first let me introduce the guests. My resident guest and regular partner, in the professional.... in the professional sense of the word! A talented comedian, a talented actor, a tart with a heart, Tony Slattery! And next to Tony, one of the first women to strike a blow for feminism and blaze a trail into the alternative comedy circuit. She's the very zany and very funny Helen Lederer! Also with us tonight, a comedian, singer, writer, actor, improviser, who still somehow finds time to be a very naughty boy indeed, the fabulous Tony Hawks! And the last member of our panel, better known as Kit from Kit And The Widow, he's just returned from camping holiday in the Beverley Sisters back garden, it is Kit Hesketh-Harvey! Now the rules of Just A Minute are ridiculously simple. Until you play the game of course, and then they become simply ridiculous. I ask each panellist to speak in turn on a subject that I give them. And they try and do that without hesitation, repeating anything or deviating from the subject. They can challenge each other at any time they like, and if I uphold the challenge, they gain a point. And if not, then the speaker gains a point. It all becomes simple as we play the game. By the way, they can repeat the subject. Right, let's begin the show with Tony Slattery and who better? Tony will you talk for 60 seconds if you can on the subject of London pride.

TONY SLATTERY: I come from a part of London called Stockwell. It's near Brixton, and I have to say, hand on heart, that when I come out of the Tube in that particular area, I'm not enthused with a sense of London pride. Because it's not so much an area, it's more...


NP: And Kit has challenged.

KIT HESKETH-HARVEY: Repetition of area, wasn't it?

TS: Yes.

KHH: Sorry.

NP: Yes, he repeated the word area. So Kit you have a correct challenge, you gain a point for that. You take over the subject and there are 43 seconds left, London pride starting now.

KHH: Of all the lions in Britain, Chessington, Whipsnade, probably the most exciting pride is in London Zoo at Regent's Park. mangy and moth-eaten though they presently are, and looking for homes, I understand, should any of you require a lion right now...


NP: Tony Hawks has challenged.

TONY HAWKS: Repetition of lion.

NP: Yes um, yes of course, it's London pride, and it's a pride of lions, I got confused for a moment. But he did repeat the word lion, so you have a correct challenge, a point for that Tony, and there are 27 seconds left starting now.

TH: Happily I am someone who is filled...


NP: Tony Slattery. Tony?

TS: Sorry, that sounds a bit harsh. But I think you said luckily I am somehun hoo. It was, I think it was deviation from the English language because it's luckily I'm someone who, not luckily I'm somehun hoo. I'm sorry Tony.

NP: I have to ask you do you normally speak like that?

TH: Yeah, I'm pissed out of my head!


NP: Well that's a devious way to come on the show, isn't it. So I have to uphold Tony's challenge...

TS: I'm sorry.

NP: So Tony you have a point for that now, 25 seconds, London pride starting now.

TS: The locality of habitation to which I referred...


NP: And Helen?

HELEN LEDERER: Sorry to be a peasant again but luckality? I thought the word was locality.

NP: Oh! Hoisted on your own petard! Yes!

TS: I know! She just hoisted me!

NP: You got back in there right, you have the subject, a point for a correct challenge too, 23 seconds, London pride starting now.

HL: Us beer drinkers are great fans...


NP: Tony Slattery challenged.

TS: That's bad grammar, it's we beer drinkers!


NP: Yes but surely Tony, you must know, that if you're a true Londoner, you talk about us beer drinkers. I mean, you know, there's Cockney slang isn't there, as well. So she was probably demonstrating typical London speech. So I think...

TS: Are you two having an affair?

HL: Could be! Could be!

NP: Well after my remarks about you in the introduction, I think it might be better to follow down Helen Lederer. Helen...

TS: Anybody understand this, ladies and gentlemen?

NP: It's not meant to be understood! Helen I disagree with the challenge, so you gain another point and you keep the subject and there are 21 seconds left starting now.

HL: Shandy is another favourite when combined with the hop pickers from Kent which are one of the most mainstaying type of thoroughbred... wheat and...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: I think there was a hesitation there.

NP: Indeed it was!

KHH: Dreadful! It was terrible drivel!

NP: I know but such delightful drivel, and that's what the show is all about! Right, 13 seconds are left Tony, another point to you, London pride starting now.

TH: I met someone in London who was very proud of saying some-wah instead of someone. This person was an enormously...


NP: Kit Hesketh-Harvey challenged.

KHH: Was there a person twice there?

NP: There was a person twice, well listened Kit. Right there are six seconds left, you got in with six seconds, oh you are clever! Another point to you, London pride starting now.

KHH: London pride has been handed down to us, London pride is a flower that's free. London pride means our own dear town to us and our...


NP: Whoever is speaking when the whistle sounds get an extra point. On this occasion it was Kit Hesketh-Harvey, so you got three points at the end of that round and in that round and you're in the lead. Helen's got two, Tony Hawks has got two, Tony Slattery has one, isn't it exciting!


NP: Oh what's all the awwws about? I thought you'd be delighted he was trailing! Right, Tony...

TS: You shut your face!

NP: Oh you're so, so, so, so, so, I don't know how to say it! So vulgar! I think that was the word! Helen will you take the next round please. Helen the subject is pearly kings. Will you tell us something about those in this game starting now.

HL: These are people that are not the Monarchy, but pertain to a hierarchy where people wear sequins, which are similar to buttons. The wives themselves are the lucky people who find the...


NP: I think your light came on first, Tony.

TS: I think two peoples there.

KHH: Three peoples.

NP: There were two, three peoples.

HL: Oh you're counting?

NP: Yes! Tony, correct challenge, a point to you, pearly kings is the subject, 47 seconds starting now.

TS: Pearly Kings, a syninn... oh!


NP: Oh yes! Oh dear, Tony Slattery mentions the word syninn and he immediately dries up! Tony Hawks yes?

TH: He didn't get anywhere near saying somebody there, did he?

NP: No!

TH: He went neurgh!

NP: You have a point and pearly kings and 45 seconds starting now.

TH: As a child, I used to think that the district in south London known as Pearly used to have a Monarchy! I personally think...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: Oh there was a hesitation there.

NP: There was a hesitation, yes. There are 37 seconds left for pearly kings, back with you Tony Slattery starting now.

TS: What I was trying to say earlier was that pearly kings has a synonym in costermonger. Originally they were a sort of mafiosi of the west end, in that they banded together, with their queens to look after a certain patch or a ssssssssss.... oh!


NP: Oh! Helen you got in first! The audience were doing this with you Tony! (slowly rises from his seat) They were doing this! Right! Helen, a correct challenge, pearly kings, 23 seconds starting now.

HL: The pearly queen and nyahhhhhhhh!


NP: Kit you got in first.

KHH: Sorry it just stuck in her mouth!

NP: I know! Twenty-one seconds for you on pearly kings starting now.

KHH: As one trundles down the roving escalator out of Heathrow Airport, one is confronted with posters...


NP: Why have you challenged?

TS: That's a bit naughty but there were two ones, quite close together. As one trundles down, one is confronted, two ones.

NP: Yes, it's a bit sharp...

TS: It is a bit sharp but...

NP: You've played the game more often than he has. But anyway it was correct so we have to give it to you Tony, pearly kings, 16 seconds starting now.

TS: Pearly king, interestingly enough, provides the first two words of the initial name of the singer...


NP: Tony Hawks.

TH: That's not interesting at all!

KHH: Cruel! Cruel!

NP: Tony, a good challenge, and another point to you, and 10 seconds on pearly kings starting now.

TS: Right!

TH: I have often wondered if pearly queens wear pearly necklaces. They certainly wear fantastic outfits...


NP: And who&'s that? Kit, yes?

KHH: There were two wears there, I'm sorry.

NP: Yes.

TH: Yes.

KHH: Poor love, he realised even as he said it. Tragic.

NP: Poor love? I don't know. Good Lord, I thought there was no corner given, I didn't know there was this affection coming into it. You very cleverly got in Kit with three seconds to go on pearly kings starting now.

KHH: The old Joanna's that tinkle in the old Kent Road...


NP: You got in with one second. What is your challenge?

HL: Well I thought there was a hesitation. I don't know if the group would go along with that?

NP: I would go along with that. You have one second to tell us something about pearly kings starting now.

HL: Pearly...


NP: Tony you challenged.

TS: Just in a way, two can play at that game, you see. There was an enormous hesitation there!

NP: All right...

HL: On the letter P like pah? That's a hesitation?

TS: That's right.

NP: helen, right, you've still got a chance to get back at him. Half a second for you Tony on pearly kings starting now.

TS: Wheeeee!


NP: Right, I thought you were going to come back again then. Well Tony Slattery was then trying to speak as the whistle went so gets an extra point for doing so and he's now equal in the lead with Kit Hesketh-Harvey. The others are trailing just by one point each. Right let's move on to the next round and the next subject is... Kit Hesketh-Harvey, would you like to take it? It' cockney accent. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

KHH: I think we must all agree that this is a source of national embarrassment...


NP: Tony yes?

TS: I think there was a stumble there, zzzzzzzzzz! You went a bit like Bruce Forsyth, zzzzzzzzzzz!

NP: Give him a chance to get going, two seconds, that's all! But it was a correct challenge so you have to take over cockney accent and 58 seconds starting now.

TS: I think one of the great cockney accents of all time of course, is Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. (very bad American impression of cockney accent) "Hello, what are you doing up a chimney?" he says. (normal voice) The interesting thing about the cockney accent is that if its perpetrated in a particularly bad way, it can sound a bit like a bit South African (in South African accent) like this. You can say "hurry up with those fish and chips, mate, I've got a plane to catch." (normal voice) And instead of being in Bermondsey, suddenly you're in the Transvaal somewhere! And Eugene Terreblanche is chasing you down and saying (in South African accent) "that's not a cockney accent and get off my land, why don't you?" (normal voice) Pearly kings often have cockney accents and this is another way of stamping their authority on their little batch of ground. Because Cockneys are best!


TS: It's London pride as was said earlier. It's all about patriotism in a provincial sense. It's, it's, it's... oh no!



NP: You went for a full 50 seconds! Marvellous, yes! Yes Kit you got in first, there was a challenge which was...?

KHH: Ah hesitation.

NP: Yes he did hesitate. There are 10 seconds for you to go for you on Cockney accents, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, starting now.

KHH: I think the part should have gone to Tommy Steele, of course. And the upshot was that Dick van Dyke's career foundered upon the rocks of Chitty Ditto Bang (bangs table) which...



NP: I think the whistle went before your buzzer. You just managed to make it and get an extra point for speaking, or just about to speak, or trying to speak as the whistle went. And Kit Hesketh-Harvey is back in the lead, one ahead of Tony Slattery.

KHH: Oh!

NP: Then comes Tony Hawks and then Helen Lederer in that order. Right, we're now going to do something slightly different.

KHH: Oh dear God!

NP: Instead of me giving them a subject, we're going to give them an object. From this hole, well, there will be a hole in a moment. That will pass and a hole will arise. And through that hole will come an object.

TS: A hole doesn't arise, Nicholas!


NP: There you are! Look at that! I didn't expect, I didn't expect the noise, but there is a man underneath! Who's straining very hard, his vitals are probably now in great distress! I'm sorry, I've now got the hysterics! I didn't expect it! (laughs, pointing at the object) It's so hysterical, isn't it. Um Helen would you like to start this round and talk on this object, which is the object starting now.

HL: This is a mystifying presentation of hat ware, I assume. Because without that format of the covering, people would be confused, it's not gloves. But it goes with the stick where people march up and down, and come down....


NP: Kit has challenged.

KHH: There were two people, weren't there?

NP: There were two people, yes. So a correct challenge, a point to you Kit again. Would you please talk on this object here and there are 44 seconds left starting now.

KHH: What is so terribly upsetting is that the object itself is missing. There used to be an enormous vegetable marrow there, on this table, adorned with ribbons and gaily...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: I'm sorry, isn't it repetition, vegetable marrow?

KHH: It's a tautology.

TS: Why say vegetable marrow, as opposed to bauxite marrow?

NP: Because as Kit said, it is tautology...

TS: Yes.

NP: But it is a phrase that is regularly used, and he wasn't repeating any words.

TS: Sorry. I withdraw.

NP: No, I wouldn't bother. Right Kit, I disagree with the challenge, so you have a point for that, you have the object in front of you and you have 44 seconds starting now.

KHH: I suggest that the best course to take would be for Tony Slattery to strip completely naked, and stand like Botticelli's Venus...


NP: Tony?

TH: That's not the best course!


NP: A good challenge Tony, good challenge.

TH: That would be third or fourth!

NP: Right, sorry, so there's the object in front of you Tony and you have 38 seconds starting now.

TH: This looks like the kind of hat that might be worn by morris dancers. Oh how I admire these groups of people as they bravely throw themselves about outside pubs, banging sticks together. Merely on the excuse of being able to drink enormous amounts of beer, usually London Pride which is a fine beverage really. Now I see this hat revolves. Why is that? It's because it is powered by a man who sits underneath this desk! He is a foolish man who has no kind of a...


NP: Kit?

KHH: I'm sorry, two men.

TH: Yes.

NP: There were two men, yes, he repeated the word man. So the object's back with you and there are 10 seconds left Kit, and you continue talking about this object starting now.

KHH: Very possibly Anthea Redfern of The Generation Game could do much better if revolving naked upon this charming...


NP: Yes Tony Hawks?

TH: Repetition of naked.

NP: Yes.

KHH: Oh yes there was a naked in the last turn, yes.

NP: When you were talking once before, yes, right. So Tony very cleverly got in with four seconds to go, there's the object, continue, start now.

TH: Were I to put this particular thing er on, I would....


NP: And Kit you got in again.

KHH: He foundered, yes, errrrrrr on!

NP: And only one second to go, you are very sharp at this, aren't you. One second to go starting now.

KHH: Philip Sommerfield, the marvellous...


NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey was then speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point...


NP: I should take you something for that if I were you! You should see the mess down there now! I wasn't expecting that either, it's the first time we've done this! Now right where were we? Oh yes, Kit got a point for speaking as the whistle went. He's now taken the lead again ahead of Tony Slattery, then comes Tony Hawks, and Helen Lederer. We're going to have a... does anybody know what that is? Nobody said what the object was. I know it's a hat, it's a hat. But what kind of hat?

TS: It's the hat which Boy George wore in Karma Chameleon!

NP: No, it's the hat worn by the Yeoman of the Guard. And nobody actually said that. Right! It is time to have a break and during that break I wonder if ITV can find any adverts without any of this lot in them? Do stay tuned and join us after this.




NP: Welcome back to the Parsons Palace of Fun for more Just A Minute! We're going to do something different now. We've all the lights up on the audience now, because I've been giving them subjects. We'd like our audience now to suggest a subject that you'd like one of our four bright sparks to talk on. So any suggestions? Any ideas? Whoa, a lot of hands are up! Wait a minute, what about that chap there with the gherkin is. You yes. Yeah, you!


NP: You be the first one.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: As Helen's been having a bit of trouble with her bell, I thought the subject of electrocution might be apt.

NP: Electrocution?


NP: That's rather clever, isn't it. Any advance on it? Yes, the yellow T-shirt?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Nicholas Parsons' wig!


NP: I thought it was only the panel that was supposed to be rude to me? Any others? Yes, one at the back? A lady there with blonde hair and black, wearing black, yes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: The Houses of Parliament.

NP: You're very political, aren't you? And what about the multicoloured shirt at the back there? The multicoloured shirt, there we are, that one there, yes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Jelly babies.

NP: Jelly babies, yes, I like the idea of jelly babies. Any advance? What about the girl with the lovely long hair.


NP: Dumb people?


KHH: Dung, dear!

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dung! Dung! Dung!

NP: Dung beetle, yes. I'm sorry, I wondered if you spoke English for a moment. I think the dung beetle's quite apt. Tony the subject is the dung beetle, 60 seconds starting now.

TH: Nicholas Parsons' wig is well known to be full of dung beetles!


TH: They live there, and anyone that forgets this normally receives a good dose of electrocution! I have a jelly baby down my trousers which is enormously interesting, and the Houses of Parliament aren't full of dung beetles!


NP: Um Helen challenged.

HL: I made a challenge, but I'm just going to correct it. Do you want me to go through with it?

NP: Do I want you to go through to it?

HL: I realised my error as I spoke. There were two references to dung beetle, but of course they are the subject...

NP: The subject on the card.

HL: I rest my case!

TS: Very good!

NP: In this game if you interrupt somebody they get a point for interruption which is a pity because you stop them in their flow.

HL: No, I'm not doing well, I know that.

NP: I think you're doing extremely well. You may be in fourth place but I think you're doing extremely well. Tony I disagree with the challenge, so you now still have the dung beetle which is a pity because there are 38 seconds starting now.

TH: I once had a pet dung beetle called Chris. He was very well dressed. He wore a tie and a pair of trousers. No shirt, extraordinary, but no...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: Hesitation, I'm afraid.

NP: Hesitation, yes. There are 28 seconds for you to tell us something about dung beetle or just dung beetles starting now.

TS: The dung beetle is of course a sacred symbol in ancient Egypt where it's often called the scarab. And it is a symbol of man's...


NP: Tony Hawks challenged.

TH: I reckon he's making this up!

TS: No! It's true!

NP: It is true, yes, yes, it's the ancient scarab from the east.

TH: Well...


NP: Yes Helen?

HL: Just testing! No...


HL: No, there were two symbols, were there not?

NP: There were two symbols. But I'm afraid somebody's got in before. I think we'll give you the benefit of the doubt Helen because there were two symbols there. And you got in there and there are 19 seconds left on dung beetles starting now.

HL: Dung beetles are to do with manure, hay, grass, and those things that cows eat in the hot summer, which are rolled up and look like Swiss rolls! Passing them on a summer afternoon, I point out to friends and families alike that England is a wonderful place to house fertile... oh!


NP: Kit you got in.

KHH: She was doing so well, it was so absorbing, but she fell over on fertile.

NP: I know and with only two seconds to go.

HL: It can happen to us all.

NP: So Kit you got in with only two seconds to go, you're very crafty at this, aren't you. And the subject is dung beetles, two seconds to go starting now.

KHH: Nicholas Parsons cooks a lovely beef stroganoff. But anyone who's eaten it late at night will sympathise with me when I say...


NP: So Kit Hesketh-Harvey was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point of course, for doing so. And with other points in that round, he's taken quite a strong lead at this particular point in the show. And we now move to Tony Slattery to begin the next round. And the next one Tony, oh this is a good subject. Hailing a taxi. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

TS: In the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, you often come across different types of rain, frogs, plagues, that sort of thing. My niece, a couple of weeks ago, came in and said "Uncle, it's hailing a taxi," and I couldn't believe it! I looked up, and there it was. A black cab coming down and bouncing back up again! And the driver was saying "I'm not going south of the river"! And I thought what a peculiar type of meteorological phenomenon that was. And the person who was driving the aforesaid Hackney carriage actually turned round and said "I'm hailing a taxi and I can't believe it!" And nor could I. I went to Michael Fish, the prominent weatherman. I said "it usually rains wet and that kind of thing. Why is it hailing a taxi?" And he said "don't ask me, I couldn't predict..."


NP: Tony Hawks.

TH: There were quite a lot of saids in there.

NP: Yeah.

TS: Yes.

NP: We were enjoying it a lot!

TS: I thought it was rubbish!

NP: You kept going actually, there are only six seconds left, so you kept going for 54 seconds. Nearly made it!


NP: Tony you got in with six seconds to go, hailing a taxi Tony, starting now.

TH: Traditionally when hailing a taxi, people make a waving gesture, thus. I like to wave at them and then go over and...


NP: So I've just had a message we have no more time to play Just A Minute. Isn't that sad. So I will give you the final score. Helen Lederer finished up only just in fourth place. Just behind um Tony Slattery and he was just behind Tony Hawks which is a very dangerous position to be! And out in the lead was Kit Hesketh-Harvey so he is our winner this week! Thank you very much! As the rest of us go back to our normal lives and carry on hesitating, repeating and deviating to our heart's content. So it only remains for me to say good-bye from Tony Slattery, Helen Lederer, Tony Hawks, Kit Hesketh-Harvey and myself Nicholas Parsons, we do hope that you've enjoyed the show and will be with us once more when we take to the air and play Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here, good-bye!